B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan entering next phase

By Dr. Nerine Kleinhans, Chief of Staff
Creston Valley Hospital

Dr. Nerine Kleinhans

Creston has not recorded any new cases of COVID19 in the last three weeks. Yesterday, Premier John Horgan announced the next phase of B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan.

In the coming weeks, we will be moving ahead to provide immunizations to many more people, starting with those who are most vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.

We administered the first vaccines in Interior Health at the end of December. It already feels like a lifetime ago, and since then, we have provided nearly 37,000 doses of vaccine across our region.

Beginning March 8, eligible seniors will be able to call a dedicated Interior Health phone line and make an appointment to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The phone line, 1-877-740-7747, will be staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST, seven days a week. We are asking people to call in according to the groupings below:

  • March 8: Seniors born in or before 1931 (90 years+) and Aboriginal peoples born in or before 1956 (65 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment.
  • March 15: Seniors born in or before 1936 (85 years+) may call to book.
  • March 22: Seniors born in or before 1941 (80 years+) may call to book.

To book your appointment through the call centre, please have the following information ready:

  • Legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Postal code
  • Personal health number (PHN)
  • Current contact information, including an email address you or your family checks regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages.

The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced the province is extending the timing between first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to 16 weeks. This comes as evidence is demonstrating the first dose provides strong and effective results protecting those who have been immunized.

Taking this step will help more people receive their first dose sooner.

And on a completely unrelated topic – my hometown’s name recently changed from Port Elizabeth to “Gqeberha.” Please google the pronunciation and see how that rolls from your tongue!

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